Should Milwaukee's downtown convention center expand? Wisconsin Center District commissions study

Posted at 8:40 AM, Apr 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-27 09:59:44-04

The Wisconsin Center District just commissioned a new study to look at expanding the downtown convention center. City leaders have long complained Milwaukee loses convention business, because the Wisconsin Center isn't big enough.

Citing multiple past studies, tourism officials report larger conventions pass over Milwaukee, and will continue to do so if the convention center doesn't add space. 

Various other factors such as air travel, ground transportation, and hotel space also deter potential convention business.

Sources indicate expanding the convention center would cost between $150 million and $200 million. The Wisconsin Center District is funded by three taxes in Milwaukee county that include fees tacked on to car rentals, food and beverages at restaurants, and hotel/motel bookings.

Officials have not said how they might pay for the expansion.

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